Help! Soil problems?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by FireflyInTheDark, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    I planted a patch of tomatoes last season from seed that I started indoors. The seed was a rainbow heirloom mix I got from Walmart. Being inexperienced, I planted the seedlings too close together outside, and by summer, it was a 5-foot-tall rainforest. I never fertilized them, but we kept them watered and checked them daily for tomatoes.
    We had a huge crop of tiny yellow salad tomatoes and sauce tomatoes, but the red, orange, purple and pink ones rarely, if ever ripened, and some of them turned white on the bottoms. Some even developed black spots when we tried to pick them and set them on a ledge to ripen.
    We had just moved in, so we have no idea what the history of the soil is, other than we know that the people that lived there before had gardens because of the way things were set up.
    Now, as I am beginning to plan for this coming season (early, I know, but I can't help it), I am wondering if this was just my own folly or if this could be some kind of pathogen in the soil, and if so, what should I do to treat it?
    We have so much space for growing. It would be a shame if it wasn't useable...
     
  2. dd3stp233

    dd3stp233 -=--=--=-

  3. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    Thanks. Kind of looked like that... I should do an image search...
     
  4. Keep Movn

    Keep Movn Member

    ^The blossom end rot sounds about right, usually do to a calcium deficiency, sometimes its there and it cannot be uptaken, other times it's just not there. It can be prevented from being uptaken by an improper ph, I would check the ph of your soil, certain nutrients are only absorbed at certain ph levels. Calcium is an essential building block inside a plant, it builds the plants structure, growth, fruit, growing tips, etc. If you didn't use any fertilizer I would start there. Earthworm castings will provide a good source of organic calcium. pick up some good organic fertilizers like sea kelp, bat guano and you will be good to go. Also I cannot stress enough how beneficial compost, and compost tea is as a fertilizer and also a soil rejuvininator. If you want a great garden start with great compost! Good luck and if you have any other questions message me. Over grow your yard!
     
  5. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    Appreciate the advice! :)
    I was planning a compost pile this year. I'm going back and forth on whether I want to use worms or just have a pile... We have a bunch of aged horse manure out back that the previous owners of the house left, so this coming season, I'm definitely planning on utilizing it. Here's hopin.'
     
  6. I thought Blossom End Rot might also be due to lack of MAGNESIUM? I've heard of people putting just a teaspoon or so of Epsom Salts (which are good for plants in small amounts, weirdly enough, and not especially expensive) (and provide magnesium) into the fill dirt for each hole before planting each tomato plant.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_sulfate

    My tomatoes grew fine last year except for Amish Paste (the long, not very juicy red tomatoes you grow for thick tomato sauce), which did develop BER.
     
  7. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    Epsom salts. Interesting... I think I might have some of those.
     
  8. gardener

    gardener Realistic Humanist

    Planting tomatos too close together can also promote fungal disease, and competition between plants will lead to underachieving crops.
     
  9. FireflyInTheDark

    FireflyInTheDark Sell-out with a Heart of Gold

    Should I worry that my soil is "infected" then? My greatest fear is that I will plant my tomato plants that I've been growing from seed for months only to have them all turn gross on me.
     

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